Oakland Unseen

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Don Perata launches “single choice” voting, with ballots featuring only his name

In a stunning turn of events for the Oakland City Councilmember At-Large race, Oakland residents stepping into the voting booth November 6 will see a ballot different from the sample ballot that was mailed to them.

In an effort to rid Oakland of ranked-choice voting, which was Don Perata’s downfall in his 2009 race against Jean Quan, the former President pro tempore of the California State Senate and Sacramento insider set to put an end to ranked choice voting.

He put a controversial rider in a bill back when he was in the state senate, which surprisingly passed. This put a series of events in motion, which ultimately led to him being the only candidate listed on the ballot for the Oakland City Councilmember At-Large in the 2012 election.

This new revelation has stunned both the Kaplan and De La Fuente camps, who have spent considerable warchests on incendiary mailers and defensive ads on local TV.

What’s even more surprising, wrote Chip Johnson on SFGate, is that “Perata hadn’t announced his candidacy until November 2, four days before the election.” Rebecca Kaplan and Ignacio De La Fuente, in a rare show of mutual agreement, vowed to “have this matter looked into more closely.”

Don Perata, file photo

Few could have guessed that the local legendary politician—referred to as “The Don” and regarded as a master of backroom politics—would be the 2012 dark horse candidate, and according to the ballot, the only candidate running for Oakland City Councilmember At-Large.

At a press conference earlier today, Perata defended his position, justifying why he removed the other candidates from the ballot. “Do you want these amateurs, or do you want a pro?” At which point a voice shouted from the rear, “It’s illegal!” Perata, keeping his composure, responded in a soft voice, “How can I break the law when I wrote it? I’m looking forward to being your new City Councilmember At-Large. I’m sure Jean Quan and I will get along swell.”